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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor Claire Warwick

Warwick, C., Terras, M., Huntington, P. & Pappa, N. (2008). If You Build It Will They Come? The LAIRAH Study: Quantifying the Use of Online Resources in the Arts and Humanities through Statistical Analysis of User Log Data. Literary and Linguistic Computing 23(1): 85-102.

Author(s) from Durham


There are now many online, digital resources in the humanities, and their creation is funded by various governmental, academic, and philanthropic sources. What happens to these resources after completion is very poorly understood. No systematic survey of digital resource usage in the humanities has ever been undertaken—and the factors for use and non-use of digital resources are unknown. The LAIRAH (Log Analysis of Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities) Project is a 15-month long study into the factors which determine long-term use and neglect of digital resources in the Arts and Humanities. Using quantitative Deep Log Analysis techniques to understand real-time user behaviour and qualitative user workshops to gain an understanding of user approaches to digital resources in the arts and humanities, the study identifies factors that may predispose a digital resource to become used or neglected in the long-term. This article provides an overview of the techniques used in the LAIRAH project, and presents some preliminary results that may be of use to both the creators of digital resources in the humanities, and the funders of these projects, to ensure that significant intellectual effort and time, and financial resources, are not wasted in the creation of projects that are then neglected by the user community.


This article appears in: Selected papers from Digital Humanities 2006, Paris-Sorbonne, 5–9 July 2006.

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